When job growth is measured over the past five years, Danbury leads the way in Connecticut. An analysis of changes in employment figures between 2013 and 2018 from the 381 metropolitan areas defined by the U.S. Census Bureau focused on the leading city in each state, and ranked them. The analysis, by the website howmuch.net, found that Danbury - which saw job growth of 6.6 percent - outpaced Connecticut’s largest cities, but that the leading city in 40 of the 50 states had a stronger track-record.
The leading cities in five-year job growth were Lake Charles, LA: 28.3%; Bend-Redmond, OR: 26.6%; Elkhart, IN: 24.0%: St. George, UT: 23.4%; Greeley, CO: 21.1%; Gainesville, GA: 20.9%; Fayetteville, AR: 20%; Boise City, ID: 18.6%; Austin, TX: 18.4%; and Reno, NV: 18.0%. The analysis notes that the top cities “are truly remarkable job markets at the center of the recovery, perhaps because they were hardest hit by the recession.”
The standing of Austin, Charlottesville and Nashville are noted for “a reputation as fun destinations with music and tech scenes. They are mid-sized cities with universities, hospitals, and large well-known employers. These are the ingredients for long-term economic growth and positive employment numbers.”
“In many ways, Danbury is the forgotten city in Fairfield County up north here,” P.J. Prunty, executive director of the Greater Danbury Chamber of Commerce, told the Danbury News-Times earlier this year. “These statistics show that people are attracted to a city that has opportunity and good employment. It’s growing, and that’s a good thing. People are voting with their feet by moving here.” Back in April, the Danbury Labor Market Area had the lowest unemployment rate of the nine LMAs in the state. The Danbury LMA outpaced the state and national unemployment rates, the News-Times reported.
Leading the way in the five-year analysis, released this month, are Barnstable in Massachusetts, at 13.7 percent employment growth; in New Hampshire it is Portsmouth at 10.1 percent, in Rhode Island, Providence/Warwick at 7.7 percent; Maine the greatest job growth has been in Portland/South Portland at 7.1 percent. Vermont is the only New England state with a leading city growing jobs at lower rate than Connecticut’s – Burlington/South Burlington at .8 percent. Only Alaska and Wyoming are lower, rounding out the 50 states.
Also noted: “Some places are factory towns with unsustainable growth rates. Others are truly remarkable places to live with thriving, growth-oriented economies, and still others are barely seeing any benefits from the economic recovery.”